The Greek Government Committee recently approved the controversial planned zoning law for tourism despite reactions of environmentalists, hoteliers and civil engineers.
Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works Minister Yiorgos Souflias said the zoning law is a significant structural intervention for the development of an extremely important sector of the economy (i.e. tourism).
Mr. Souflias reminded that the legislation aims towards the environmental development of tourist areas and the support of the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product.
He also underlined that particular emphasis has been given to the protection of forests and woodlands where tourist establishments are prohibited and to the protection of agricultural land of high productivity.
As for the “accusations” that the planned zoning law for tourism paves the way for the “concretization” of holiday resorts, Mr. Souflias said that they are “incredibly inaccurate.
“The law does not extend the possibilities of building tourist facilities in areas that up until now were prohibited but sets restrictions and certain conditions for their development,” he said.
The controversial legislation was rejected in February by the National Zoning Council, an advisory council appointed to assess its impact on the environment.
On the government’s side, the zoning law for tourism is considered final and is to be published in the Government Gazette.